Medical Library


Head / Neck

Got a pain in the neck? Any part of your neck - muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments or nerves - can cause it. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, head or upper arms.

Muscle strain or tension often causes neck pain. The problem is usually overuse, such as from sitting at a computer for too long. Sometimes you can strain...

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Your shoulders are the most movable joints in your body. They can also be unstable because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. To remain in a stable or normal position, the shoulder must be anchored by muscles, tendons and ligaments. Because the shoulder can be unstable, it is the site of many common...

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Your elbow joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the elbow joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have elbow problems.

Many things can make your elbow hurt. A common cause is tendinitis, an inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone....

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Wrist / Hand

No matter how old you are or what you do for a living, you are always using your hands. When there is something wrong with them, you may not be able to do your regular activities.

Hand problems include

Carpal tunnel syndrome - compression of a nerve as it goes through the wrist, often making your fingers feel...

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Your back is an intricate structure of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident. The lower back is the most common site of back injuries and back pain. Common back injuries...

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Hip / Thigh

Your hip is the joint where your thigh bone meets your pelvis bone. Hips are called ball-and-socket joints because the ball-like top of your thigh bone moves within a cup-like space in your pelvis. Your hips are very stable. When they are healthy, it takes great force to hurt them. However, playing sports, running, overuse or falling can all...

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Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems. Knee problems can cause pain and difficulty walking.

Arthritis is the most common disease that affects bones in your knees. The cartilage in the knee...

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Your legs are made up of bones, blood vessels, muscles and other connective tissue. They are important for motion and standing. Playing sports, running, falling or having an accident can damage your legs. Common leg injuries include sprains and strains, dislocations, and fractures.

These injuries can affect the entire leg, or just...

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Ankle / Foot

Ankle Injuries and Disorders

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Your ankle bone and the ends of your two lower leg bones make up the ankle joint. Your ligaments, which connect bones to one another, stabilize and...

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Fitness Terminology

Life, unfortunately, doesn't come with instructions. There's no book to explain how to make it from birth to death and everything that falls in between. One of the hardest things you have to deal with every single day is exercise.

You may equate exercise with sweat, pain and tight clothes that announce every unsightly bulge. Maybe you...

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Cross Training

You consider yourself to be in better than average shape. You run several times a week for health and fitness and maybe do an occasional fun run on the weekend. Some friends come into town for the holidays and you decide to go skiing. No problem, you're in great shape, right? Wrong. After a day on the slopes you feel like you've been run over...

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Exercise Questions

Q. How Do I Get Started on an Exercise Program?

A. First, see your doctor to make sure everything's working properly before you start exercising, especially if you've been sedentary for a long time. Next, figure out what your goal is. Do you want to lose weight or gain muscle? Or maybe you want to train for a race. Your goal will...

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Massage Therapy Benefits

The Greek physician, Hippocrates (460 to 377 B.C.) known as the father of modern medicine brought about a historical change in the field of massage. In ancient Greece and Rome it was actually the physician who utilized massage as one way to treat pain. Hippocrates stressed that massage be directed toward the center of the body or toward the...

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As we begin the New Year we would like to thank all of you for your continued support of PT Hawaii. Since PT Hawaii-Waipahu, Home of the AquaCare Center opened its door on August 9, 2003 with its innovative solar heated pool program; we have cared for over 720 injured patients!

The power of aquatic rehabilitation has once again been...

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FAQs about Aquatic Physical Therapy

What is “aquatic physical therapy”?

Aquatic Physical Therapy or “AquaCare” is the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist. It includes but is not limited to treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, health, wellness and fitness of patient populations.

The buoyancy,...

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Strains / Sprains

People are able to move because muscles contract and make the joints that they cross, move. Muscles attach on each side of the joint to bone by thick bands of fibrous tissue called tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens and pulls on the tendon, which allows the joint to go through a range of motion.

A strain occurs when the...

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Arthritis is a general term that means inflammation in joints. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It is associated with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and can occur in almost any joint in the body. It most commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine....

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What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissues above and below the waist and on both sides of the body. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome-a set of symptoms that happen together but do not have a known cause. In this syndrome, the nervous system (nerves, spinal cord, and brain) is not able to control what...

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What Is Osteoporosis? What You Need to Know

What is osteoporosis anyway? Is osteoporosis a normal sign of aging? Does osteoporosis only affect women? Here's the truth: What you don't know about osteoporosis may hurt you.

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a common disease that weakens bones. As it does, your risk of...

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Types of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects about 12 million Americans -- more women than men. It happens when you lose urine by accident. There are several different types of urinary incontinence.

Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence may happen when there is an increase in abdominal pressure -- such as...

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What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a collection of fluid that causes swelling (edema) in the arms and legs.

What causes lymphedema?
One of the causes of lymphedema is surgery to remove lymph nodes usually during cancer treatment. Normally, lymph nodes filter fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and...

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Pelvic Floor Tension / Pain

In Pelvic Floor Muscle Disorder the muscles of the pelvic floor remain tightened. Normally these muscles are under voluntary control, but for some excessive tension can develop. Reasons for this are not well known but can be resultant from a natural disposition, learned reaction to stress or pain, trauma, or any combination of these....

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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Vertigo is the feeling that you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused by a problem in the inner ear It usually causes brief vertigo spells that come and go.

For some people, BPPV goes away by itself in a few...

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